While I’m a fan of technology, sometimes it concerns me that our lives are so filled with screens now. Our computers, televisions, smartphones and tablets hog our time these days. I find this funny that I’m writing this post right after last weeks, where I was celebrating the use of interactive signage in advertising and for installation for museums.
One thing that does concern me, and maybe it’s because I’m an old person now officially, is the use of screens in the lives of children. Yeah yeah, people thought the same thing about television back in the day, blah blah blah. They thought it would rot children’s brains and that we would turn out like zombies. But the prominence of screens in the lives of very young children does raise a question mark to me.
I wonder if the ability to concentrate and pay attention will be affected by the use of instant gratification now or if kid’s brain structure will really be affected at all. There are some studies going on right now about the use of electronics with young children, specifically things like iPads and other kinds of tablets.
“Common sense tells me that if a child’s laying on his or her bed and texting friends instead of getting together and saying, ‘Hey, what’s up,’ that there’s a problem there,” she says. “I want people interacting … on a common-sense level, and an experiential level. It does concern [me].”
Hogan relates the UCLA study’s findings back to research on infants.
“When babies are babies, they’re learning about human interaction with face-to-face time and with speaking to parents and having things they say modeled back to them,” she says. “That need doesn’t go away.”
Losing that critical part of face to face interaction can come as a real cost for kids if this research bodes true for how it can affect very small children. When it comes to older kids, I’m not as concerned, but for very young developing minds there may be some definitive unintended consequences to not being exposed to the right stimuli.
I’m looking forward to what more research has to say in the future to this affect.